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Piano new or second hand

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hapa-girl
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Piano new or second hand

Postby hapa-girl » Wed, 28 Nov 2012 2:45 pm

Hi,

I need some advice. My six year old has just started learning the piano and the general consensus seems to be that to enjoy it and get good, you need a real piano and not the cheapo keyboard we have. The tiger mother in me wants to get the best possible piano we can afford but the austerity side of me says that since we don't know how long we will be here and because my daughter is only six that will be silly. So, good second hand or the cheapest new yamaha? Cheapest new yamaha ($3,400ish) will be about $1000 less than a good second hand. Everyone seems to be advising against the second hand $1000-$2000. I asked the piano teacher but I definitely have the sense that she knows every single used piano salesman in Singapore and gets some kind of kick back. The second hand market seems somewhat fraught with dangers (parts being taken apart, replaced by cheaper parts etc) - almost like the second hand car market so I thought new would at least give me peace of mind.
Any advice from people who know about pianos is much appreciated!
Thanks.

beppi
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Postby beppi » Wed, 28 Nov 2012 3:51 pm

Apart from Steinway and other unaffordables, all new (means built after 1970) pianos are of worse quality than those built in Europe in the 1920-1930ies.
Such old ones are rare in Singapore, but if available, they aren't very expensive (less than a new Yamaha) and keep their value (means you'll get your money back if you sell again after a few years - new pianos lose half or more of their value quickly!).
Of course you need to search extensively and know what to look out for, so better do it with a befriended expert. Make sure it's made with a glue compatible with tropical humidity (otherwise it falls apart after a few years) and install a heating bar if it hasn't one already.
A good piano is a worthwhile investment and often makes the difference between an enthusiastic or uninterested child. In addition, the lessons will cost more in any case (in the long run), so why save here?

hapa-girl
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Postby hapa-girl » Wed, 28 Nov 2012 5:36 pm

Thanks Beppi. I completely agree about getting a good instrument. The reason why I am holding back in getting the best we can afford is because we will only probably be here for two more years. Also, we will probably move apartments next year so I would like to be more settled (ie in the house we plan to live in for the next decade or so) before we buy a really good piano. I'm worried that moving it around so much might damage it. And I'm worried about the humidity damaging it, even with the heater.
A decades old one sounds interesting and I love a thing with history. I definitely don't trust myself to getting a decent one though.

solarStrings
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Postby solarStrings » Sat, 29 Dec 2012 11:21 am

Hi,

Just wanted to enquire how old/cheap the keyboard you currently have is.

Anyway, I've been in a similar situation (not Singapore though) as I'm learning myself, after much research I bought a modern digital piano (I paid equivalent of about 3000 SGD). I have to say they have progressed massively compared to the old days with weighted keys, recording, learning tools and background rhythms and all sorts of stuff. They can also have the full cabinet structure to it as well, so it looks good but can also come to pieces for moving if necessary.

Note they only really come into their own with a decent set of ear-covering headphones, and only ever use them with it now, even if I'm certain I'm the only person in a mile radius. But assuming your child wont be, being able to practise at anytime of day (or night) without worry of disturbing anyone is great and in fact keeps me practising for longer than I would do otherwise. I'm not sure what sort of place you're aiming to settle into long term so all this might be useless..

Most teachers will probably shun digi ones though, and indeed, an acoustic one will better train the fingers. I went back to my parents this weekend and played on their acoustic, I was stunned by the vibrations and volume of a real one after being used to the digital, even though I'd been practising on that very same acoustic one for nearly two years previously. As good as a digital one sounds through headphones, you just can't 'feel' anything, which is a shame and obviously very important.

Definitely I'm with you on having an instrument with a history of sorts, helps it become part of the family. I think ideally one would have access to both types.
Sorry if this isn't helpful but just felt like writing something :)

{Edited by moderator}


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